For a’ That and a’ That…

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an’ a’ that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that.
Our toils obscure an’ a’ that,
The rank is but the guinea’s stamp,
The Man’s the gowd for a’ that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hodden grey, an’ a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A man’s a man for a’ that:
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Their tinsel show, an’ a’ that;
The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,
Is king o’ men for a’ that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca’d a lord,
Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;
Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
He’s but a cuif for a’ that:
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
His ribband, star, an’ a’ that:
The man o’ independent mind
He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an’ a’ that;
But an honest man’s abon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
Their dignities an’ a’ that;
The pith o’ sense, an’ pride o’ worth,
Are higher rank than a’ that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a’ that,)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man, the world o’er,
Shall brothers be for a’ that.

But it won’t come unless we make it so

We have to have trust in ourselves and in each other: open our eyes and our minds, have confidence in our joint ability to create the decent society we all need in order to be the best we can.

We have to stop the rape of the commonweal by private interest; put roofs over heads and food on the table – and this not only in ‘poor’ countries, but in first world countries too where the cynical ruination of the national wealth is blamed on the greed, incompetence, immorality of the very people who are the first victims of that system.

And how do we do it?

For a first step we must stop allowing our masters to divide us: recognise that the ‘benefit scroungers’ are those who avoid tax, whose companies are given the unemployed as cheap or free labour, who award themselves pay and benefits out of all proportion to any benefit they bring to those said companies.

Starve them of funds…don’t use their companies.

Then stop voting for party candidates, locally and nationally.

I know that local government in the U.K. is a broken reed, kept on a short rein by central government and then used as an Aunt Sally to bring the democratic process into disrepute.

We need properly independent councillors who will not toe party lines, who will explain to their constituents exactly why their services are going to hell in a handcart and to take a firm hand on the remuneration packages of their officials.

Only with a solid structure of local government can we hope to reclaim national government from the party system and to build that structure we need to recreate communities – genuine ones, not the artificially empowered ‘communities’  which have a symbiotic relationship with the power structure in which their self appointed leaders deliver the votes and in turn have the recognition – and the funds – to dominate those who are forced to depend on them for a voice..

It is a long road…but our parents and their parents have walked it before us.

We may be but dwarfs on the shoulders of those giants…but what giants!

For their belief in justice they faced what we do not – the gallows.

We have their blood, we have the memory of their sacrifice, we can not only resist, but we can win.

Happy New Year to you all.

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26 thoughts on “For a’ That and a’ That…”

  1. “An’ a’ the world’s gone tapsalteerie…”

    God knows many of us see it like this, but getting the ear of the dim-witted will be tricky.

    Tonight, I shall tak a cup o’ kindness .You’ll be mentioned.

    Um…why can I not find a plaid emoji? Bleddy sassenachs! 🙂

  2. If only the populace as a whole could understand the power it possesses …

    But the bread-and-circuses gimmick has been working well for the powers that be for at least 2,000-plus years, so one can’t put all the blame on current voters for failing to see through the charade.

    On a more positive note, may your new year be a happy one!

    1. The best trick is to let current voters believe that they understand the system: a development from just letting the wild beasts loose in the arena.
      Best wishes for a good new year ahead of you.

      1. I think rather wistfully of the mobile guillotines supposedly carried along by the Infernal Columns in the Vendeen Wars….
        And i agree, there are more of us than anyone thinks…but we need to find a way of getting through to those who think they are secure while in fact they are teetering on the brink.

  3. I’ll do my best. Thanks for a rousing post. On a related note, I see that Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Docherty are backing a campaign to end ‘Holiday Hunger’ by running school canteens throughout the holidays so kids get a square meal all year in the UK. It’s utterly shameful that it’s not just automatic that kids get fed, housed and educated as a priority. I’ve worked in areas where many of my clients were on benefit, and I can assure you, the number of real scroungers is so small it is not worth spending our taxes trying to eradicate them.

    1. Costa Rica is not a rich country, inevitably, given the amount of institutionalised corruption, but school canteens are open over the holidays as a matter of course so that no child goes without a decent meal.
      I agree on the waste of money tracking down non existent scroungers…but it gives yet another private company a bite at the public funds which is all that seems to matter.

  4. There is a building in my home town of Akron, Ohio, named the Sojourner Truth building, in honor of the woman and the speech she gave on that corner of abolitionist activity. I pass often. Sometimes I am proud of our work, but more often despair of the future we’re leaving for others to make right. In every culture, a man’s a man for all that; ain’t I a woman? Look at me! The struggle goes on.
    A good new year to you and Leo and friends.

    1. There was a time when it felt as is women would finally have a full part in society…but so many of the women who made it pulled the ladder up after themselves and went along with the retrivialisation of female life – appearance, appearance, appearance…
      Makes me wild.

      Have a good New Year….you could certainly do with it!

  5. So true that it won’t come unless we make it happen. What a remarkable post. As for the first video, I title it “life the musical” and certainly vote for anyone who mixes singing and politics. I just love this post! Hope 2017 brings good things to your, Leo, and your gang. Love, Paulette ❤

  6. What lovely thoughts.
    Sadly the world is now filled with ‘Daily Express,’ ‘Daily mail’ and ‘Sun’ readers happy, as long as they have their needs met, to follow the lead given by the press. They do this because they have come to believe this will benefit them, how I do not know.
    Good thoughts to start a year and we can but try.

  7. I seem to remember that when David Cameron brought in the standard five-year parliamentary term, he also proposed a recall mechanism by which MPs who weren’t doing what the public wanted them to do could be thrown out at any time. Unsurprisingly, this recall idea was abandoned pretty rapidly. So many MPs would be thrown out there wouldn’t be any left!

    I wish I could do more to oppose the Tory government, but as one solitary elector I have little influence apart from marking a ballot paper every few years.

    1. At least you do that!
      I fear that our form of government has become totally corrupt: all we can do is to try to build another system, even if it means that we have to do that most unBritish of things….talk to each other about serious matters.

  8. Whenever I feel down (as I often do) about the state of things in whatever country I happen to be I remember Newton who was humble enough to acknowledge that he walked on the shoulders of giants … your reference to his words makes total sense to me. Never say die, never give up and remember the greats who proceed us. Listen to them and we won’t go far wrong. Though sadly it seems most of the world is deaf at least I can stay a little hopeful and duly inspired by you I can trumpet and strumpet my loudest!

    1. I fear that we are entering a period in which Lord Braxfield would be at home….’Bring me prisoners and i will find them law’:
      Perhaps standing on the shoulders of those giants we can see far enough to have no trust in the current system, and to agree with Locke that those who use power unlawfully are themselves rebels and can and may be overthrown.
      My headmistress would be turning in her grave were she to hear that I had encouraged anyone to strumpet….

      1. Selfishness and greed drive the worst of human behaviour and it seems that the majority are content to turn a blind eye to morals and ethics in order to line their own nests. My own headmistress was fond of the word strumpet though I imagine if any of us had actually been good examples of strumpetude we would have been expelled!

        1. I suppose that our society induces any number of decent people to think that things are not right, not just…but deprives them of any means to act on their views.
          Demonstrate peacefully and end up stigmatised as hooligans and being kettled by the Met…
          Ask questions at meetings and get the bums’ rush from ‘security’ guards…
          No wonder people sink back in their armchairs and decide to just get on with keeping their own heads above water.

          As to strumpets: normally the headmistress took the sessions known to the timetable as Religious Knowledge, where no prisoners were taken as ‘the work o’ the Lord ganged bonnily on..’
          In her absences a mild mannered lady replaced her and we had reached those passages of Kings where Ahab was worshiping Baal at the behest of his wife Jezebel.
          Some bright spark asked what was so bad about Jezebel (apart from murdering vineyard owners, etc, I suppose) that she suffered such an awful fate to which the reply – after pause for thought , came thus:
          ‘She wasn’t someone your mother would invite to the house.’

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